Well, they’re at it again, trying to pit Americans against each other and thus disrupting the upcoming presidential election. The Russians?

We don’t know, although it is certain that the Kremlin’s online campaign of inciting dissension among us never stopped.

Someone decided Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke was a good target. Soon after the identity of the man who massacred seven people in and near Odessa, Texas, a few days ago was released, someone took a social media shot at him. “The Odessa shooter’s name is Seth Ator, a Democrat Socialist who had a Beto sticker on his truck,” read the post. Among other outlets, it appeared for a time on Facebook and Twitter.

There was no such sticker on Mr. Ator’s vehicle, law enforcement officials have confirmed.

Using falsehoods and innuendo to stir up animosity is an old psychological warfare trick. The Internet has made it much easier to do that.

So has the gullibility of so many Americans.

Included in some of the posts targeting Mr. O’Rourke was a picture of a white truck, on which a “Beto 2020” sticker had been placed. Viewers were assured the vehicle belonged to Mr. Ator.

It did not. The picture could have been of someone else’s vehicle. Or, the “sticker” could have been laid over the picture, using photo editing software.

Much of the acrimony surrounding the 2016 presidential campaign was generated by Russian operatives, and perhaps others, whose mission was to spread malice among Americans. Clearly, they succeeded.

Are we going to be gullible and, frankly, stupid again this time around?

You know the old warning: Fool me once, shame on you — fool me twice, shame on me.

(20) comments

Ping

I would laugh as it would be funny if it were not so sad that liberals believe the things said in these posts! I don't recall much concern from the left about N.Korea or Russia or Iran or China or any other such regime when Obama was president. No concern over the selling of uranium rights to the Russians. No concern about N. Korea testing missiles. No concern about Iran's missile program, nuclear program, or use of proxies like Hezbollah to carry out terrorism. Not even any concern over continued US involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq and Syria. Obama did not solve any of these problems (despite the Iran "agreement"). Yet, to the liberal mind, they are only problem countries now that Trump is President. Please spare me your "concern" about our countries adversaries now. I didn't see any concern then and certainly none earlier when the Soviet Union was still in one piece.

Spock Here

Just because you don't "remember" previous concern doesn't mean there wasn't any. What a totally inane comment

Ping

If phrasing is a problem, then I'll drop the "remember": there was no concern on the part of the left.

Spock Here

The problem with using "never" "none" "all" is destined to be incorrect. Proclaiming "all" liberals think one way about "everything" is as stupid as me proclaiming "all" conservatives think one way about "everything." Some liberals, for example, didn't vote for Hilry, are against abortion, and are against socialism. Some conservatives, for example, despise the Alzheimer poster child in chief, are pro life, and are for reasonable gun controls. By and large we are all against totalitarian regimes, the Taliban, and Saudi Arabia, or should be. Another example is me thinking "all" who support that mental midget in the white house are kooks is wrong. I'm sure some are not, but I'm still trying with that one.

Ping

Lots if words. Lots of words.

Ping

As you can see by some of the comments posted regularly on most any political/social issue site, the Russians' trolling is only part of the problem (and probably a small part). We have enough homegrown crazies posting and actually believing what they post to stir up rancor on our own. They come in both right and left wing varieties. There are some people out there who literally have no other goal in life than to post constantly on every single issue, usually with the same focal point (be it Trump or the Clintons or alphabet lifestyles or Q or whatever). Any discussion on any topic always comes back to their favorite horse on the carousel. Free speech out to be free even for crazies, though, so the responsibility is on the reader to make sure of the veracity of what is posted or reported. The hobby horse enthusiasts, however, will not even do that and will believe whatever fits their worldview. It is and will be a lasting problem.

Jim McCarthy

Odd - I had the same reaction to the Star’s recent editorial misquoting a a Supreme Court case (Heller) and repeating an NRA mantra about good guys with guns. Birds of a feather?

ralcabin

Social media running rampant, as usual. Walmart has gone from not selling handgun ammo to not selling any ammo or guns. Social media. What do we have today that we didn't have years ago, social media, 24 hour news shows, weather shows, hype, hype, hype. Mass shooters post themselves, or find websites to post their sick statements on, then unleash their horror on innocent victims. People walk around with headphones, so they are connected to their phones continuously. Some post onslaughts of slander everyday, I didnt grow up with this, for one, & no, you won't find me on facebook. It's all gullibility, facades posted, that weak minds feed on. Yes there is some good, family & friends stay connected, but just like every venue, their are corrupt minds who misuse it. A few readings of constant posted comments & it doesn't take long to decipher those who go after the gullible, they post daily. Just use your common sense, & for God's sake, unplug & go outside once in a while.

Rattler

Why would someone who massacred 7 people be released???. That should be the real issue

Spock Here

He's dead, his name was released. Do you read lab reports? I hope not

Rattler

I did not research mr. Spock and i dont read lab reports but hope you never have to. I was just responding to letter with things ive said before keep the criminals and sickos off the streets. Plain and simple. No rocket science needed

CRT

They target idiots who believe things such as Hillary Clinton, a woman they say is frail she can barely walk, runs a child sex ring out of a pizza parlor in DC. I would also add that Trump and Trump, Jr. retweet many of these far out conspiracy theories, including the one that the Clintons had Jeffrey Epstein murdered, even though he died in the custody of the Trump Department of Justice, and that Ted Cruz's father was involved in the Kennedy assassination. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/08/12/bizarre-conspiracy-theories-trump-has-elevated/

Spock Here

Let's not forget types like Alex Jones. I'll swear, if Hillary could manage to kill all the people these freaks claim, she'd be president now.

Conservative

Explain the bullet hole in Ron Brown's skull then.

Spock Here

In your mind you probably think James McDougal shot Brown in the head right before he told the pilots to crash into the side of the mountain. Seth Rich, in a dazzling display of prowess, climbed to the crash site, removed not only McDougal's body, but also the bullet from the brain, since no bullet or exit wound was found.

BillboBaggins

Repubs are very gullible. they campaign on the 3Gs ' Gods,Guns and Gays' and sprinkle it with racism. This has worked for them for yrs, they aren't going to change anytime soon.

Spock Here

The number of times they win with this platform should be going down by now....

Eredmon

That is about as believable as the Russians helping Trump get elected. The rest of the non-American world wanted Hillary. They knew she would sell out her own.

CRT

I would think you'd be better informed. Putin has expressed his disdain for Hillary and the Russians are open about how happy they are Trump won. Other authoritarian countries are thrilled with Trump as well. The murderous thugs in North Korea and Saudi Arabia are giddy that he lets them get away with murder. Trump is in love with Kim. They write each other beautiful letters!

Spock Here

And now he apparently loves the Taliban so much he wanted to invite them here! This week! Hillary probably would have invited them to her inauguration though, right? And oh my this big mouth is worrying intelligence agencies and they had to remove our top spy from the Kremlin for fear he'd blab about him. Oh, drat, this "non American world."

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